I have no recollection of life before this place. I moved here when I was two. I was about to experience the bouquet of my first wine cellar. It was Penfolds and it was the vintage of 1975. My father contributed to many vintages here and it was my good fortune to have the culture of this place woven into my childhood. Indeed since then my life has been filled with privileged experience working with and observing some great winemakers each with their own unique way of crafting wine. ‘Respect and history’ was learned at Penfolds, ‘craft and tradition’ at Rockford, ‘intellect and detail’ from Chris Ringland, ‘perfume and texture’ from Charlie Melton, ‘layers and length’ from my father Rob Gibson and most importantly ‘belief’ from Pete and Magali at Spinifex – without their encouragement Ruggabellus would in all likelihood have remained just an idea to this day.
Emma and I love drinking wine with food. We love wines with grace and intrigue. We live in the Barossa valley in southern Australia. This is our home. We have taken great pleasure in exploring its strengths – an ancient landscape with a great resource of young and very old vines.
For ten years now we have been purchasing small parcels of Grenache, Mataro, Syrah and Cinsault. In late 2013 we purchased a small farm with old vine Syrah, Riesling, Semillon and Muscat. We are thoroughly enjoying bringing it back to life.
We are keen to understand the uniquely Australian character of our wines. We use no new oak. For our reds we are attracted to vineyards that allow us to pick earlier in an effort to preserve vitality, crunch and intrigue. And for our whites we are attracted to vineyards that are rocky and closer to the sun – for us the white skins play a very important role as we explore a full and more exotic realm of flavour whilst trying to retain natural acidity, a realm of flavour we hope reflects the old, wild and mystical landscape we are lucky to now call our home amongst the hills here.
TIMAEUS (honour) – Grenache
EFFERUS (untamed) – Mataro
ARCHAEUS (soul of a place) – Syrah
QUOMODO (in which way) – Riesling
SOLUMODO (the solo way) – Semillon
*these five wines receive our most premium parcels of fruit.
FLUUS (flow) – lighter weight, a great introduction to our style of red wine
SALLIO (to season) – an introduction to our skin fermented, textured style of white wine, inspired by the old wine-making techniques used in eastern European countries.
Thank you for your interest in our wines. We sincerely hope you enjoy them and please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have,
Abel, Emma, Bailin and Rouille.